patriots

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from writer/director Peter Berg and CBS Films is an intense look a time that once again changed America in 2013 with PATRIOTS DAY.

Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) is an officer with the Boston Police Department who tends to irritate his superiors. On this day, Saunders is sent to secure the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Calling wife Carol (Michelle Monaghan) for some extra knee support, he knows its going to be a long day.

But in an instant the United States held its breath as a bomb explodes at the finish line. No one is really sure exactly what happened until a second bomb explodes soon after. Immediately the police and civilians began to help the injured.

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Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), Special Agent Richard LesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) and Governor Deval Patrick (Michael Beach) create a large taskforce in a warehouse to piece together who is responsible for the terrorist act. Saunders makes sure that he is a part of helping sharing his knowledge with the taskforce.

The city cameras capture Tamerian (Themo Melikidze) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff) as responsible for the terrorist act. On the run they are headed for New York and change vehicles driven by unsuspecting Dun Meng (Jimmy O. Yang). Taken hostage, Dun must find a way to get away from the brothers.

All the law enforcement involved are not about to let these men get away and drop a net on the city. When they are finally cornered it is the City of Boston that closes ranks to stop any more acts of terror.

Nothing will stop the search!

Wahlberg as Saunders once again proves why director Peter Berg turns to this actor when he wants not only a solid performance but a riveting one. Wahlberg gives a portrayal that audiences relate to filled with frailties and a strength mixed with knowing what is right and what is needed. I have always enjoyed that with Wahlberg’s performances in films like this, especially true stories of the human spirit. DEEPWATER HORIZON, released only a few months ago in 2016, had these same wonderful qualities.

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Bacon as Special Agent LesLauriers keeps a straight face and his mind on the task at hand. He doesn’t tolerate anything less than getting the job done and I like Bacon’s portrayal. Goodman as Commissioner Davis is where he needs to be and calls in all resources to find the terrorist responsible for hurting American citizens.

Yang as Dun Meng gives an amazing performance as the young man who comes face to face with the terrorists. Keeping his cool in a situation where I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to is nothing short of amazing.

Melikidze and Wolff as the Tsarnaev brothers is a difficult role to play yet these two actors did not hesitate to do it. Giving the audience insight to their behavior is crucial to this film and Melikidze and Wolff made it possible.

Other cast include Rhet Kidd as Harrold, Christopher O’Shea as Patrick Downes, Rachel Brosnahan as Jessica Kensky, Jake Picking as Sean Collier, Lana Condor as Li, Melissa Benoist as Katherine Russell, and J.K. Simmons as Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese.

Also Adam Trese as John Bradshaw, Hampton Fluker as James Williams, Cara O’Connell as Kara, Dustin Tucker as Steve Woolfenden, Lucas Thor Kelly as Leo Woolfenden, Paige MacLean as Lisa Murphy and Brandon Wahlberg as Officer Dixon.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give PATRIOTS DAY four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Obviously I am a fan of writer/director Peter Berg but let me tell you that twice in six months he has told the story of horrendous events with people of extreme valor. That is why both films made it to number 5 on my Top Ten list of 2016.

PATRIOTS DAY is a striking insight to an event that today still brings a heavy heart to Americans. What this film does is explain how it happened, how a city and law enforcement came together and the strength of every individual part of that day in 2013. This is an extremely large cast and I truly wish I could give a shout out to every person who was part of portraying the event.

I encourage everyone to put this film on their ‘must-see’ list for the weekend. Gather up family and friends, everyone in law enforcement, doctors, nurses, and runner – yes everyone and see PATRIOTS DAY.

In the end – this is the story of the world’s greatest manhunt with true heroes and true strength!

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